Dear Online Entrepreneur, Stop Stressing About The Daily Stuff

Online Entrepreneur: Stop Stressing Over The Daily Stuff This is a guest post by Martina Iring from MartinaIring.com

We all have those days. Days when it feels like nothing is going your way. Days when you’re ready to chuck that damn lap top out the window and go get a normal job. Days when you question your ability to succeed at this online business stuff. The pot of gold seems far, far away. You’re beginning to question whether that pot of gold exists at all.

This is pretty normal in the life of an online entrepreneur. Especially when you’re first starting out.

Think back to your last negative spiral (or maybe you’re in one right now). What kinds of motivation sucking thoughts are swirling around your head? I’ll bet you that a lot of them are things that don’t really matter and have nothing to do with your abilities or talents.

It’s time to stop beating yourself up. I mean it. Let’s take a look at 7 things we often give way more importance than they are worth, and see how we can put a positive spin on them.

1. You’re working your butt off and you’re still not getting traffic and interaction.

Google doesn’t know you exist. Your Facebook Page is a party of one. The only person that tweets your posts is you.

This is a tough pill to swallow. Especially when you’ve been putting in the effort to make things happen. Sure enough, you start to question yourself.

Don’t. Things don’t happen overnight online. It takes time to build up an active presence that gets you noticed. You will eventually hit momentum shifts, and you will only get there with consistent, hard work.

Stop focusing on the numbers. Having a ton of Twitter followers doesn’t really mean much if no one is paying attention to you. Focus on building relationships with the connections you do have. Things will automatically flow from there.

Keep on reading awesome blogs like SocialMouths, expanding your knowledge, trying new tactics. What I’m asking is that you take the heaviness, the “oh my god I suck,” out of the equation. Try to approach it as a fun game. There is no silver bullet for making it online (despite what you might read!). Success takes on different forms for everyone.

2. You don’t get comments on your blog

We all want those comments. We eagerly await the flood of response that we know our posts deserve. Yet, getting a steady stream of comments eludes many of us.

The truth of the matter is that very few blog visitors leave comments. Shockingly few. I’ve read stats that sit around 1% of blog visitors. So if you’re not getting any, it’s really not a big deal. They will come. It’s not a reflection of the content you’re producing. Not necessarily.

Make sure that you’re doing what you can to encourage comments. Keep on creating that valuable content. End your posts with a question. Ask readers to share their views. Respond to the comments that you do get.

3. You missed your posting schedule

Maybe you post on the same day each week. Or you have committed to posting twice a week. And for whatever reason you didn’t deliver. You got slammed with work. A client emergency popped up. Or you just weren’t feeling it and couldn’t get into the writing groove.

That’s totally OK. And I believe that it doesn’t matter. I know there are plenty of people out there who will disagree with me. Those that religiously follow a posting schedule and never waver.

You know what I think? Your readers really don’t care. If you were to ask me when my favourite bloggers post, I honestly couldn’t tell you. I don’t pay attention to that stuff. All I care about is getting their awesome content. I doubt your audience is keeping careful tabs on which day of the week you send your newsletter. Lots of successful bloggers don’t care about when they post.

So I say if it’s too difficult to commit to a specific schedule – don’t. I prefer flexibility, so I let my readers know I post weekly-ish. That works for me. And I don’t beat myself up if I’m not feeling inspired to write one week. Better to wait and produce content when I’m jazzed.

4. You created a mind-blowing post. And no one noticed

You wrote the most epic blog post ever. It rocks. We’re talking a Francisco-esque how-to create a Facebook landing page knock your socks off type post.

But no one has seen it. No one is sharing it. It’s just out there, online, in all its glory.

This is common when you’re getting started. And it’s sure not something to get worked up over. Don’t throw in the towel.

The post is yours. You own it. And you can resurrect it at any time. Just because you wrote it a while back doesn’t mean you can’t promote it again. It’s yours, so you can do as you like with it. Create a section in your blog that highlights your best posts. Put your top posts in your email newsletter welcome message. Send it out again when you’re on vacation and not creating any new content. Tweet it when you’ve got a larger following.

5. You just spent an insane amount of time on something

As an entrepreneur, you’re doing a lot of stuff yourself. Whether it’s trying to configure a new plugin, or finding out why your PDF creator isn’t working anymore. You have no IT guy to call up. No accounting whiz on the payroll. And often times you just have to roll up your sleeves and figure it out yourself. Which, more often than not, takes a lot of time. Next thing you know, 2 hours have gone by, and you might not even have a solution.

This happened to me recently when I was trying to figure out what to do with the images at the top of new Facebook Pages design. I spent a stupid amount of time trying to get a nice banner look. Trying different applications. Googling.  In the end, I came to realize that there actually wasn’t a solution for this. Not yet anyways.

These sorts of time-sucking endeavours often get that little negative voice going. You might feel guilt for “wasting time”. You might feel stupid or incompetent for not having figured it out, or for not being faster.

I say, don’t harp on it. Learning a new skill takes time and expanding your knowledge is a good thing. Or maybe you’ve learned a helpful lesson about how doing things yourself actually isn’t free, and that your time is valuable. Hello outsourcing.

6. You didn’t get a response back from someone

You sent an email. Or a tweet. Maybe about a potential contract. Or a guest post or collaboration idea. Or simply to try and create a connection. And you got nothing in return.

Lots of people are really busy and just can’t get through all the requests and messages sent their way. Or maybe they’re simply not interested in what you’re proposing. Or aren’t into fostering a relationship with you.

Either way, don’t take it personally. It’s not your problem. Don’t waste any time or energy lamenting someone who’s not into you. Instead, focus your energy on those people that are.

7. You didn’t get the job

You’ve sent out an awesome proposal. You’re stoked on providing your services. And you know that you’re the perfect person for the job.

But you don’t get it.

This is one of the hardest things not to take personally. We’ve all been deflated when a job we’ve really wanted has fallen through. Especially at the start when each and every potential contract is super important to the growth of your business (or your ability to pay rent).

You might call me crazy on this one, but I really do believe that things work out the way they should. Maybe you’re not the right fit and it would have turned out to be a nightmare project. Or it could be another reason completely that has nothing to do with you. I personally once had a contract I really wanted not go through because the business was having some troubles. It was just a matter of bad timing.

Either way, it’s not worth dwelling on. On to the next! There are plenty of other opportunities so get out there.

Times you do deserve a smack

You had to know that this was coming. I’m just going to indulge myself a little here and share some pet peeves…

  • Automatic Twitter welcome direct messages. That are self-promoting. Stop.
  • Automatic Twitter streams to your Facebook wall. People aren’t on Facebook to see your tweets. Trust me on this one.
  • You use Facebook messages like they are permission based email marketing. You’re just asking to be unliked.
  • You don’t have your picture on your social media profiles. Or you do and you look like some kind of frightening stalker.
  • You only tweet about yourself. Bad!

So, let’s hear it. Do you agree with my points? Any other ideas for “failures” we shouldn’t take so seriously in our online business lives? A pet peeve you wanna vent?

Martina Iring on SocialMouths This is a guest post by Martina Iring – Martina helps small business owners and entrepreneurs struggling with all that web stuff. She’s on a mission to help the little guys make online marketing profitable and enjoyable! For gobs of free marketing info and doses of inspiration, head on over to Small Business Bliss. You can also connect with her on Twitter or Facebook.

  • Thanx for the post @martinairing:twitter ! Super recognizable. I alway’s think about the day’s that are totally wasted, but then i think: I’m only learning by failing and failing, again and again en then.. start all over and trying to do it better then the last time..

  • Thanks for those awesome tips. I will be sure to refer back to this when I hit another wall.

  • Thank you for mentioning the auto welcomes on Twitter, I have unfollowed people immediately for them. if they can’t offer a genuine response when I add them why would I stay following them.

  • I think that we can all relate to those “wasted” days Armando! But if we can shift our thoughts and appreciate the valuable learning taking place, they become opportunities instead.

  • Thanks Craig! Glad you liked them 🙂

  • This is a great example Ayngelina of how those auto DMs can actually be detrimental.

  • Wow Martina! You kicked butt on this one girly. Every single point is on point. Great work. AND you made me laugh. THANKS 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I love number 5 (spending an insane amount of time on something). I beat myself up over this A LOT, feeling guilty about wasting time and not being able to find the answer right away.

    It’s so great to hear that this is perfectly normal and happens to everyone! =) I love this: “Learning a new skill takes time and expanding your knowledge is a good thing.” Thanks so much for writing that! I’ll definitely look at it differently next time.

  • I love the smack yourself section at the end. There are lot of opportunities out there to spread your image or ideas without become a web nuissance. Awesome article well done!

  • Thanks Dan! “Web nuisance” – love it 🙂 You really do have to pay careful attention to how your online actions are perceived.

  • Thanks for sharing your personal experience with this KeriLynn. I used to beat myself up too – you’re definitely not alone 🙂 Acceptance and seeing the positive is way more beneficial!

  • Thanks for your kind words Marlee! Very much appreciated 🙂

  • Probably one of the worst feelings is spending a ton of time on a post, just to have it go unnoticed and uncommented on. But usually that is later followed up by spending little time on a post and having it go viral. Best thing to do is learn what your audience likes based on response and move on!

  • i cannot relate as much to the blog advice because i am not blogging like i should be, just yet…. but on 5 through 7 i could not agree more!!

    5. one thing i have noticed about spending a lot of time doing something that ends up being a dead end and i have accomplished nothing is that from the get go i have a gut feeling that i should either abandon the efforts completely or spend some time thinking about whether or not it actually needs to be done… kind of like the “48 rule” or “one week rule” when it comes to impulse purchases… sometimes i will make a snap decision that something needs to get done and dive into unfamiliar territory only to come out the other end with nothing to show but less time to sleep and a lil voice inside my head saying “way to go, chump! there goes 6 hours!”

    so i have learned to back off of something that is starting to frustrate me long enough so that i may use the logic (that would otherwise be hiding in fear of my determination to get something done) to properly evaluate the task… some times the answer is just a phone call, email or google search away and if it is not… don’t rack your brain, your frustration will only make completing the task that much more difficult.

    6. this has happened way too many times!! i still get mildly irritated by the lack of response (especially after receiving a few response email from Gary Vaynerchuk within a few days knowing that dude gets thousands of emails everyday) but it used to really piss me off because i was taking it personally… i decided to change that idea to something that made me feel better about it, which was just telling myself it was their loss. after all the sweetest revenge is living well… so good riddance shit head that can’t take 2 minutes out of their day to show some love… 🙂

    7. totally agree here as well!! you have to convince yourself that everything happens for a reason, and i have a number of stories that are testament to that statement… one approach i have taken is to follow up with the would be client after they have gone with person B, to offer some helpful tips on their site design, marketing strategy, etc… this not only shows them that you actually cared about their business but also sometimes lets them know that you are good at what you do and if they ever need your services again you are still on their list of options… build relationships first, then ask for the sale.

  • Great advice Kristi! Funny how that viral stuff works, eh? It can really surprise you! It’s all about trying new angles and learning from what does well.

  • Thanks for sharing your personal insights Skip! We’re definitely on the same page. I like your advice for following your gut and practicing a little patience. I’ve also jumped the gun and spent time trying to fix something that was “broken”, only to learn that it was a temporary technology glitch. I now always take a step back when something has gone wrong, assess how important it really is, and think hard about whether I need to drop everything to fix it. And isn’t it amazing how when you give something time and space, the answer you need often falls right into your lap?

  • This really is a great post. It’s tough to do something repeatedly when the results aren’t there, but persistence pays off in this game!

  • Luke

    Hats off to you, I really enjoyed that! And you know, I think it might have given me an idea…

  • right on, way too deconstruct all the crap talk we tell ourselves thanks for the post.

  • Charissa Hurd

    I’ll be the 1% who comments – Good stuff! Nice insight into the ever-challenging world of online business and a refreshing angle on how to manage the building process. Thanks for sharing! Charissa Hurd – BizActions, LLC

  • Thanks Charissa! Glad the post resonated with you.

  • When you start to pay attention to your thoughts, it’s quite surprising how many of them are negative and demeaning. Thx Justin.

  • Sweet Luke!

  • Heck yes Mikey! You just gotta keep on plugging away.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, I needed that 🙂 Sometimes we say things to ourselves that we would never dream of saying so harshly to someone else. We need to be our own best coaches, right?

  • The Facebook thingy really bugs me. Mostly because everyone that uses it, is horrible at it. Even when the messages are focused on things I love, I still reject them immediately.

    I think this is because like you say about people not being on Twitter to see your Tweets, I’m not on Facebook looking for Messages about conferences or conference calls. At this point I’m there to connect with friends.

    I’m glad that women like you are putting out smack down lists like this with the purpose of making this web world a better place to be.

    PS. You’ve seriously made me consider changing my nerd picture. I’m thinking it looks a little stalker-ish. Hahaha

  • Great post @Martina_Iring:disqus . I can’t tell you how great it makes me feel to know I’m not alone. It’s especiallyhard when you’ve had great success in the past, and now it’s as if you’re a nube. Not that I’m complaining, but honestly I have one of those days each week. Thanks again!

  • Yes, there are so many ups and downs and we all go through it. Thanks for your comment!

  • I hear ya! I constantly get Facebook messages from a non-profit that I just delete immediately, even though I totally am into their cause. It’s just too much and not the right use of the medium. To make it worse, they blast out the exact same thing to their email list, which means I get hit twice back to back.

    P.S. LOL on the pic comment 🙂

  • So true! We always talk about treating others as we would like to be treated. Alot of us need to start with treating ourselves well. It can be shocking when you realize how mean you are to yourself.

  • Great point @twitter-35399535:disqus – I haven’t gone the step of unfollowing them, but I certainly never click on their included self-promotional URL or invitation to connect with them elsewhere. I also choose not to follow people if they don’t tweet themselves … I only recently got in the habit of doing that though. Why is it that people are on Twitter who aren’t actually tweeting?!?

  • zuhpiter

    Great point there  Martina.
    “1. You’re working your butt off and you’re still not getting traffic and interaction.

    Getting noticed is really not a one night job. It takes a lot of effort, patience and perseverance for you be on top of the list.

    zuhpiter – | – internet marketing seo

  • Anonymous

    Rad post Martina!! I think I related to nearly every point there.. Lucky for you points 2 and 4 don’t apply to you this time round. One thing I’m a bit concerned about is if I look like a ‘frightening stalker’ in my profile pic haha – is there a service for determining this?

  • Thanks for your input Barb!

  •  LOL. Maybe you’ve found your next business idea 🙂

  • Absolutely! So many people are looking for that quick fix, but it just doesn’t exist. It’s all about hard work. 

  • Barbaragabogrecan

    I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. I will bookmark your blog. I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than anybody else! Things don’t happen overnight online. It takes time to build up an active presence that gets you noticed. You will eventually hit momentum shifts, and you will only get there with consistent, hard work. Make sure that you’re doing what you can to encourage comments. Keep on creating that valuable content. End your posts with a question. Ask readers to share their views. Respond to the comments that you do get.
    work at home

  • you’re ready to chuck that damn lap top out the window and go get a
    normal job. Days when you question your ability to succeed at this
    online business stuff. The pot of gold seems far, far away. You’re
    beginning to question whether that pot of gold exists at all.

  • You’re beginning to question whether that pot of gold exists at all.

  • This is pretty normal in the life of an online entrepreneur. Especially when you’re first starting out.

  • The pot of gold seems far, far away. You’re beginning to question whether that pot of gold exists at all.

  • It’s time to stop beating yourself up. I mean it. Let’s take a look
    at 7 things we often give way more importance than they are worth, and
    see how we can put a positive spin on them.
     

  • This is pretty normal in the life of an online entrepreneur. Especially when you’re first starting out.
     

  • I’ll bet you that a lot of them are things that don’t really matter and have nothing to do with your abilities or talents.

  • The pot of gold seems far, far away. You’re beginning to question whether that pot of gold exists at all.